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In 2002, there were about 8,875 curbside recycling programs nationwide. In 2010, that number rose to about 9,000. In fiscal year 2014, the city of Sheridan may add one more program to that list.
The city of Sheridan first began discussing curbside recycling a few years ago during budget discussions. City officials even went so far as to implement a pilot program in several neighborhoods throughout the city to gather data on participation and compliance rates.
But the idea went away, at least briefly, due to budget concerns and the estimated cost of implementation.
During budget discussions this year, though, Solid Waste Division Manager Charles Martineau said the city has never been in a better position to move forward with a curbside recycling program. So, let’s do it.
Yes, the program has some downsides. For example, the drop-off sites located throughout the city right now would disappear in exchange for the curbside recycling bins city customers would receive. This may reduce participation in the recycling program by those who live outside city limits, but close enough to make the recycling effort.
Also, the $3.50 garbage rate increase to implement the curbside recycling program could hurt those who live on fixed incomes or have low incomes.
Overall, though, the more convenient it is for area residents to participate in recycling, the more likely they are to do so. The new curbside program would introduce “co-mingled” recycling, allowing residents to put all of their recyclable materials in one place rather than sort it into separate bins. Piece of cake.
With landfill space running low, the more items we can keep out of there, the longer we can extend the life of existing space without expanding and/or having to build a new landfill. Building a new landfill would be an incredibly expensive endeavour.
The landfill disposed of 28,587 tons of municipal solid waste in fiscal year 2013, which is one of the lowest figures in the last 10 years. The amount of garbage going into the landfill could be reduced even more through curbside recycling.
What an easy way to think green, save some space in the landfill and some money in the long term.